Metaverse: Beyond The Hype

Metaverse & Privacy

12 July 2023

Read our speakers presentations here:

Afonso Ferreira, CNRS: The Interplay Between Governance, Technology, and Policy in Metaverses

Shukun Tokas, SINTEF: Trustworthy Metaverse 

Moderator: David Goodman, TDL: Metaverse – Beyond The Hype 

Watch the full discussion in the webinar recording here!

The metaverse, the literal meaning of which translates to ‘beyond universe’, is generally conceived as an immersive and constant virtual 3D world where people interact through the use of avatars to do things such as enjoy entertainment, make purchases and work without physically leaving their seat.

Whether the world is ready for Mark Zuckerberg and others’ vision of the future, in 2023 Meta Platforms is expected to invest in the order of $19.2B in its metaverse division Reality Labs, despite having spent more than $10B annually since 2019 on its Metaverse in the hope that virtual and augmented realities become the next big computing platform. Although Meta have indicated a shift this year to “turbocharging” the company’s work on AI tools to keep abreast of the current AI frenzy, it’s unlikely that metaverses have gone away. In fact, Microsoft’s Hololens and the recent announcement of Apple’s Vision Pro has sparked considerable enthusiasm for the mainstream adoption of mixed reality. According to one estimate, as the metaverse continues to grow and expand to more regions of the world, growing consumer and business interest in virtual spaces to enhance everyday tasks is expected to fuel a $1 trillion commerce opportunity by the end of 2025.

According to the Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, the European vision to foster virtual worlds will include three crucial aspects: putting people at the centre, developing cutting-edge technologies, and building a resilient infrastructure. Prior to its adoption, the Commission convened a European Citizens’ Panel on Virtual Worlds, the objective of which was to formulate a set of guiding principles and actions for the development of such worlds in the EU.

The TDL webinar looked at the non-legislative initiatives of the EU, the emerging market and considerations about the future governance of metaverses, given that Meta is not the only show in town. Participants also heard about the investigations of SINTEF’s research team into the trustworthiness of Metaverse and what challenges and risks lie ahead.